There's a document about sexism in the fandom making the rounds. It's 27 pages, so a bit of a read. I'm not going to talk about the document at all, instead I'll just give you my own view on the matter. I'm sure lots of people will do their worst to make me regret it, but so be it, that won't stop me.
I'm a straight white guy. When I post something on the Internet, be it a picture, story or blog post, no one ever brings up my gender, color or sexual orientation. No one ever goes to my profile, sees that I'm a guy, and decides to hit on me or ask me intimate stuff. If any complete stranger, man or woman, decided to start hitting on me out of nowhere or ask me about my sex life, I might be a little put off and would probably ignore them. If it happened all the time, I might get rather frustrated and upset. Thankfully it's never happened to me.
I don't go to cons, but if I ever did, I would be rather annoyed if people, be they men or women, decided to whistle at me or grab my ass. Yes, you read that right, even as a single straight man, I might be upset if a hot woman just grabbed my ass or started saying lewd things to me. Sure, it might happen, in fact it has happened in the past, because even women can get blindingly drunk and stupid. But I would not expect it at a con for pony fans there to enjoy the world of colorful little horses.
But I have absolutely zero reason to doubt that all this crap happens all the time to many women (and girls!) in the fandom. I also have no reason to doubt that gays and lesbians, fans of the old generations, and a whole bunch of other people are also often treated terribly even in our supposedly friendly and inclusive fandom. And if someone (anyone!) says that they are not feeling safe or comfortable in this fandom because of other people, fans or non-fans, then I will not doubt their word! And even if what they describe wouldn't have upset me, personally, I will accept the fact that it did upset them.
Because let's face it, this fandom has a really ugly and disturbing side, and it also has a lot of very rabid and unpleasant detractors who are very vocal about how depraved and mentally disturbed we all are. If you've never come into contact with either group, count yourself blessed. The two no doubt feed off each other, like a can of worms feeding on their own sick excrements. One side deliberately provokes and sprays its shit everywhere, while the other eats it all raw to fuel its writhing outrage.
When I mention the ugly and disturbing side of the fandom, I am not talking of the saucy and/or dark art, or even the clop and gore. It is no secret that I personally enjoy a lot of those things, and even contribute (although most of my art is generally safe or only mildly saucy). While some of it can't be called anything except porn, it can be well made and nice.
But there is a darker side to even the dark side, a sick and twisted sewer of festering excrement running through it all. There is a LOT of art out there of ponies getting mutilated, gang-raped and abused in the most horrible ways imaginable. And it is often surprisingly popular, which is what makes it even more disturbing.
It must be said that I'll be the first to defend an artist's right to express any idea and break any taboo in order to provoke thought and debate, as long as it does not harm anyone and no one is forced or tricked into looking at it. I will even point out that rape fantasies can be a perfectly consensual act (and therefore not actually rape) within areas like BDSM, and therefore the topic of art and stories too, without making rape in any way okay (and just to repeat that, non-consensual sexual acts are never to be tolerated!) But let's not delude ourselves by thinking that all of what is out there is meaningful art by thoughtful and intelligent individuals with a purpose, rather than a symptom of something utterly sick and twisted.
It speaks of fantasies and attitudes sadly rampant in certain parts of the fandom. I read a story a while back (which I won't name or link) in which a certain pony was gang raped for days by ... let's just say a lot of monsters. I try very hard to be open-minded and not judgmental, and so I will not say that the person who wrote it was obviously a sick and twisted person. Perhaps they were trying to express some deep and difficult thought burning in their mind, in which case they merely failed (horribly I would say), but the road to success is paved with failure, after all. Or perhaps they just wanted to provoke outrage and disgust, in which case I'd call them merely misguided, because that's way too easy, and what you really want to provoke instead is actual thought (first of all your own).
Or perhaps deep down (or not so deep down) they found the idea of an innocent little mare getting raped by monsters fascinating and arousing, or somehow funny. And that is sick! That is wrong! And sadly, I have no reason to doubt for a second that there is an unnervingly large number of people in this fandom (and the Internet at large) who do find this sort of shit very funny, who do laugh at the idea of people (generally women, children, or people they don't agree with) getting mutilated, tortured, raped and killed. Some (hopefully few) of them might even want to live out the fantasies for real.
And if you haven't seen the products of their amusement, count yourself blessed, but that doesn't make it disappear or not matter. And you may say, but come on, it's all over the Internet and hardly news, and you'd be right. It's probably as old as time itself. But we can bloody well stand up and say that it's not okay, no matter how common, and that our motto of friendship and tolerance isn't just empty vapor!
So let me end this post by making this very clear. You are a human being, without exception! If you can read this, you are a human being! If you are blind or illiterate or don't know English and can not read it, you are a human being too! If you have a conscious mind, even just half of one, you are a human being! Even if you look like a pony, too.
I am a human being too. That makes us the same, and I will endeavor to treat you no different than I treat myself or any other human being. And if I fail, I will try harder! All that matters is what you do and say, because that is the only thing that sets us apart and makes us who we are as individuals.
If you see all your fellow human beings the same way and treat them like you would treat anyone else, thank you! If you don't, kindly pull your head out of the stone age and open your eyes. You can do better than that. We can all do better, because none of us are perfect or ever will be.
And if you laugh at the misery and pain of conscious beings or derive pleasure from doing things to people that they don't like or want you to do, no matter who they are or under what circumstances, seek professional help right now. Seriously, seek help. There is no shame in needing help or care. You are still a human being, and I will respect you a whole lot more if you do get help.
Remember, "friendship and tolerance" are more than mere words.
Ps. I am perfectly happy to say that I am a man who likes a girly show for little girls. Maybe that makes me girly too and not very manly, but aren't we all a little bit of both anyway? That was a rhetorical question. The answer is yes